Category Archives: St. Augustine


5 Educational Experiences in St. Augustine, Florida

5 Educational Experiences in St. AugustineSt.-Augustine-educational-experience

St. Augustine, Florida is full of history. In fact, it is the longest inhabited European-founded city in the United States. It’s hard to avoid history on the sunny, narrow streets throughout St. Augustine. Places to stay are tucked throughout the city among the abundant Native, African, Greek, English, Spanish and Minorcan influences.  There is so much to learn about this confluence of new and old while on your St. Augustine vacation, here are 5 educational experiences worth checking into during your visit.

Lightner Museum: Formerly Hotel Alcazar, the Lightner Museum was built in 1887 and designed by the same architects who later went on to design the New York Public Library and the U.S. Senate office building. Its three floors hold exhibits from America’s Gilded Age and relics of daily life in the 19th century. The collection also includes stuffed birds, a small Egyptian mummy, model steam engines and a music room.

Old Town Trolley Tours: For over 30 years, this tour company has provided St. Augustine with sightseeing tours throughout the city. Narrated as you go, there is a mix of fact and trivia, as well as fun stories as the trolley winds its way through the nation’s oldest city. Among several tours available, including sightseeing and ghost tours, a perk is being able to hop on and off the bus to explore on your own time.

Castillo de San Marcos: Tour the grounds of the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States that dates back to 1672. The fort has seen its share of sieges and use including as a prison for Native Americans and later for Confederate soldiers. Visitors can tour the bastion and watch cannon firings along with historical re-enactments throughout the year.

Crisp-Ellert Art Museum: Venture over to Hogwarts Flagler College to experience the school’s Art Museum which offers an opportunity to view contemporary art in rotating art exhibitions. The exhibits feature artists from the area as well as international artists and hosts various programs like artist talks, readings, a film series and panel discussions.

Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park: This location is the actual site of the first settlement area in the nation’s oldest city. The park offers both indoor and outdoor activities and exhibits to explore. From living history interpreters in a replica of Seloy, a Timucua Village that existed for a 1,000 years, to Spanish cannon demonstrations and a river walk that extends into a salt marsh. This is a place to spend the day with your whole family.

Holiday Events in St. Augustine

holiday events in st. augustine, flIt’s hard to deny that St. Augustine is a welcoming retreat to take at any time of year! As the oldest city in the country, St. Augustine offers visitors unparalleled historical sites, not to mention gorgeous beaches and a mild climate well into the chillier seasons. That is one of many reasons it’s a favored spot for holiday travel. Check out the following events going on this holiday season to make your St. Augustine vacation a magical one!

St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights Festival, Nov.22, 2014-Feb.1 2015

There’s nothing that gets you in the holiday spirit quite like two months of 2 million Christmas lights! Chosen by National Geographic in 2011 & 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, this is an event you don’t want to miss! Beginning annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving with the “Night of Illumination,” the Nights of Lights Festival kicks off as more than 2.5 million Christmas lights are set ablaze, making St. Augustine one of the most entrancing cities to visit during the holidays! Make sure to get to the Plaza by 6:30 to see the city transform, or visit the “Old City” any time during the holiday season to catch the impressive display of city-wide light! For more information, click: here.

12th annual Shut Up and Run 5K, Nov. 27

What better way to build up an appetite for turkey while raising money for a good cause than to participate in a Thanksgiving Day race? Beginning at 8a.m. at Treaty Park, this 5K, brought to you by the Ancient City Roadrunners, will benefit the St. Francis House Homeless Shelter in St. Augustine. For more information, click: here.

St. Augustine Lighthouse Luminary Night, Dec. 3

Stop by the St. Augustine Lighthouse during your December vacation to the city, and enjoy free admission from 6-9 p.m. There you will find a panoramic view of the illuminated city below from the very top of the lighthouse, accompanied by live Christmas music, including a string quartet right inside the lighthouse tower, children’s holiday crafts, hot apple cider and much more! The lighthouse Luminary Night is a special event that everyone in the family can enjoy! For more information, click: here.

St. Augustine Orchestra Holiday Concert, Dec. 12

Enjoy a beautiful holiday tradition and experience the acclaimed annual holiday concert performed by the St. Augustine Orchestra. The night will include selections from the beloved Nutcracker, as well as a special performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, sung by the St. Augustine High School Chorus. Held in the beautiful Lightner Museum, this holiday concert is sure to provide a magical night to get you in the holiday spirit! For more information, click: here.

Whether you’re looking to participate in a good cause, enjoy holiday music, or see a world-renowned display of spectacular Christmas lights, a St. Augustine vacation might be just what you need to get in this season!

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Fall Activities in St. Augustine

fall events in st. augustine oktoberfestThe fall is one of the best times of year to visit St. Augustine! The crowds have dwindled down to a casual handful of intermingling visitors and locals and the temperatures couldn’t be more perfect! The following are a few activities that you should check out during your upcoming St. Augustine vacation!

5th Annual Flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast, Oct. 1-31

A month-long dining event, Flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast was created to showcase the area’s incredible food, talented chefs, and award-winning restaurants. Happening all day, all over the city, the festival’s highlight will be the Top Chef Cook Off, held at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort on October 23. For more information, click: here.

Great St. Augustine Skeleton Scavenger Hunt, Oct. 1-31

The city’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not locations have partnered up with local businesses for the Great St. Augustine Skeleton Scavenger Hunt where visitors are challenged to find 15 skeletons displayed throughout the city. Winners will be entered in a vacation package drawing. For more information, click: here.

OKTOBERFEST Beer Tour, Oct. 1-Nov 1.

Set out on a beer tasting adventure this fall at St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest! Featuring 34 Oktoberfest-themed beers, this tour takes you on a journey to several local venues, all the while teaching you about how beer is made, what goes into serving it, and how to distinguish between the different varieties. Become a professional by drinking with them at St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest. For more information, click: here.

Spoonbills & Sprockets A1A Cycling Tour, Nov. 2

For all of you bike lovers out there, come enjoy the beautiful A1A Scenic Byway for a 100 mile, 72 mile, or 32 mile route that will take you through Gamble Rogers State Park, Varn Parke, Marineland, and the St. Augustine Area. There is still time to register for the 36 and 72 mile runs, so check out the website: here, and then come visit St. Augustine to take part in this beautiful event.

49th Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival, Nov. 29-30

More than 150 artists congregate from around the country every year for St. Augustine’s Fall Arts and Crafts Festival to display their finest work. The massive art festival will take place Thanksgiving weekend behind the St. Augustine Downtown Historic Parking Facility. For more information, click: here.

Whether it is history, entertainment, or outdoor adventure you seek, St. Augustine is a perfect fall destination for you and your family to getaway for a few days and enjoy the beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, and exciting events that the city has to offer. Book your vacation today, and then check out one of the events above while you’re there, for an unforgettable fall vacation.

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